We're often asked by clients if it's necessary to update their Wills.

Short answer

Yes. Very.

Long answer

It's important to review your Will at least every five years, and to update your Will whenever there's a major change to your personal circumstances.

Wills don't expire or lapse, but the Will you had drafted 10 years ago may not reflect your current intentions for the division of your estate, or your personal relationships may have changed. Wills don't become effective until your death, meaning they can be modified at any time to reflect your current situation and needs. Modifying a Will is as simple as destroying the old one and drafting a new one.

We recommend reviewing and updating your Will when there are changes to your personal circumstances, such as:

  • someone included in your existing Will has died
  • you've created new business structures, including companies or trusts
  • there's been a significant increase or decrease in your assets
  • you've divorced or separated
  • you've people who are financially dependent on you
  • you've married, remarried, or are in a de facto relationship
  • you've had children, additional children or grandchildren

A properly drafted Will should ordinarily be able to cope with some of these events, but there's always a risk that it may not have been drafted to anticipate these changes, or these events were never anticipated in the first instance. And since some the above events are likely to change your relationship with various beneficiaries, and you may wish to alter their benefit under the Will.